Jimmy Henchman: An Open Letter To The Prosecutor

Imprisoned rap mogul Jimmy Henchman reached out to AllHipHop.com with an open letter, just as he prepares for his fourth, high profile trial.

Jimmy Henchman was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in October of 2013, for dealing massive amounts of cocaine. The mogul claimed much of the testimony which sent him away for life, was based on "snitches" and people with questionable backgrounds and motives to testify.

The rap mogul is betting the flawed evidence will help undo his murder conviction and life sentence, in addition to invalidating a lifetime punishment for drug dealing, since the conviction is based on the same witnesses statements.

Check out Jimmy Henchman's open letter to the prosectutor, as his third murder trial and fourth overall trial in connection to drug dealing and murdering rapper 50 Cent's friend begins next week.


Dear Mr. Prosecutor,

Trial? Really? Again? I cannot believe that you are actually taking me to trial again. Our first trial ended with a hung jury, and while a guilty verdict was delivered at the end of the second trial, that conviction was promptly overturned by an appeals court based on the finding that you and the judge had gravely denied me my constitutional rights. So here I stand again for the third time. I ask what exactly is your reason for subjecting me to yet another trial when I already have such a substantial sentence? This will be my 4th trial in 6 years.

At this point, your obsession with my persecution appears to be nothing more than a thinly-veiled vendetta. You seem to have forgotten the great ethical responsibility which falls to a prosecutor--your job is not to win a conviction at any cost, but rather to ensure that justice is granted to all, regardless and in spite of your personal agenda.

Mr. Prosecutor, I know this is a game to you and you're acting out a role in your personal theatre, where my life & freedom hangs on the balance of the scales of justice but only I am the one with something to lose. You have no "skin" in the game. That would make sense why you feel the need to take me back. Or maybe this is your Moby Dick moment - the thrill of the kill - like hunting a lion to hang on the wall or lassoing a wild bull; or is it a chance for you to take a photo pose in front of a tree and I am your "strange fruit?" You're employed by the Criminal Justice system that allows you to live out your wildest imagination to the fullest.

Mr. Prosecutor, its hard for the issue of race not to be questioned here, when its a factor of all genre of today's life: politics, mass incarceration, entertainment, sports, healthcare, Blacklivesmatter, etc; while documentaries like 13th and books like The New Jim Crow capture the quintessential scheme of the Criminal Justice System. In fact, when I look around, I'm surrounded by Black and Brown men. Truthfully, most of these men need mental health rather than lengthy jail sentences. One would be led to believe that minorities are the only ones that commit crimes, yet we know that is simply not the case. My 16-year-old daughter questioned me one day were there only black men that were incarcerated. Just recently, the lost essays of George Moses Horton were found at the New York Public Library. Mr. Horton was a slave that taught himself to read and write and became the first Black author in the South to be published in 1823. Scholars have said his discovered writings sound strikingly similar to today's issues when it comes to "race, power and free speech."

Mr. Prosecutor, this is particularly true in the Criminal Justice System for a Black man sitting in a courtroom where the jurors are not my peers and the mention of rap music is code word for rape (sex), illegal drugs (cash), and murder (guns and violence). Its the same code words used to the nation when #45 says, "please don't treat them nice", and when Jeff Session tells his prosecutors to "prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law." Can you please explain to me who are "them"? Its the same epithets used during my three prior trials, "they, them, hip-hop, rappers, rap manager", etc. Just because I wore a suit you said I was a "gangster in a suit" or because I ran a successful artist management company and my roster included some famous hip-hop artists, you labeled my company a "crime organization." I must ask why? Is it your preconceived notions about the color of my skin that prevent you from presenting me as a legitimate executive successfully operating in the entertainment industry? During the trial you referred to the facts of my case as a war, invoking images for the jury of an event plagued with continuous bloodshed when really, at the heart of the case, was a 14-year-old child being assaulted by grown men with guns.

Society relays on prosecutors to be an officer of the court that follow the facts where ever it takes them and present the truth to the jury, not to win at all cost. Prosecutors have too much power that has no checks and balances to temper their ambition to make headlines or their selfish run for office as politicians, (e.g., Rudy Giuliani, Todd Kaminsky). This is why most prosecutors will hide evidence or take a man to trial without evidence because they aren't punished even when they intentionally send innocent men to jail. It becomes a number game with hitting a quota than sending the guilty to jail. Benjamin Franklin said it best, "it is better for 100 guilty men to be set free than one innocent man to be sent to jail."

You are intent on making a name and career for yourself as the prosecutor who will take down hip-hop as a culture, and you have chosen me as your poster boy for this movement. I question if this singular objective is personal for you, or if it is merely indicative of the motives of our entire criminal justice system, comprised of prosecutors, judges and law enforcement. I wonder is this a reprisal on Hip-Hop as a culture, due to its undeniable social influence over the past few decades, or is it the unfortunate but continued the government-sanctioned systematic persecution of men of color in this country?

Mr. Prosecutor, I will not be as judgmental of you as you have been of me and call you a racist. Albeit, a look at the roster of defendants that you have prosecuted might prove otherwise. I curse the day that you chose me as the face of your crusade against the hip-hop community. You reserve for me the harshest allegations and punishments available. You have saddled me with charges on par with those received by El Chapo, and sentences normally reserved for terrorists. Yet you say this is justice. Your foremost duty is to follow the facts of a case, wherever they may lead, and present only the facts to the jury. You are not only compelled but also obligated to, not so much focus on winning a case but ensure that justice is done. I sincerely hope that you are able to look past your personal ambitions and desires to create headlines for yourself and ensure that I get my justice that is long overdue.

And even if this ends with a hung jury, guilty or an acquittal you will always be known as the prosecutor that could never win a victory over me - and even when you did - the court of appeal reversed you. And for playing me you shall forever remain nameless and hopeless. While you look for glory, you will find shame and made an example of while you turn into a pillar of salt.

If it is true that the universe bends toward justice, then this trial outcome will vindicate me.

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Shirley Ju
Shirley Ju